Productivity 2

Sorry for the late post.  Most of this entry was written, but I got hit by a migraine and was unable to finish and post it.  I blame spring allergies.

IMG_8132The weather has been crazy this spring.  Hot, cold, windy, rainy, thunderstorms (real, loud ones like I love but rarely get here)…sometimes all in one day.  I managed to get out to run once during a nice weather moment a couple of weeks ago.  The thunderstorms did keep me inside one evening on a day that had been so beautiful that I really, really wanted to get outside and run (and I’m not usually so dedicated a runner as all that).  This is okay, though, because one of things I picked up while out and about last Tuesday was supplies to start a bullet journal.  I’ve been hearing about them recently, mostly from the HRC Ravenclaw Common Room.  They seemed like a nice idea but not something I needed to do for myself.  Then I ended up telling my coworker about them when she was advised to start a journal but didn’t really think she’d keep up with a traditional journal.  After that, I spent a week or two with the idea taking root in my brain.

IMG_0038I’ve tried journalling before but usual give it up after a short while.  It takes up too much time, and my hand gets tired from all that writing (maybe I’m a bit verbose?).  The best I’ve done was a year in college where I was determined to write something every night, even if it was just a haiku. (Note some similarity between that project and the take a picture of tea every day project; it happens every so often.)  More recently, I’d been managing to write about each day while I was on trips; but the travel journal fell behind, too, and missed a couple of trips since.  With the bullet journal, though, I like the idea of it being a hybrid between a planner, a journal (but in short form! – they call it “rapid logging”), and a notebook where you can write grocery lists and plan out projects.  You can sketch or keep track of books you want to read and TV shows you watch.  Beyond a few basics, there aren’t a lot of rules…and lots of ways to be creative.  If you go online or on Pinterest, it’s easy to find hundreds of examples of bullet journal pages that are works of art or incredibly cute.  It’s a little intimidating, but you can also find minimalist versions.  In fact, the inventor of the whole idea uses a very minimal style, and it still looks great.  I’m not going to be that minimal because I love a reason to buy colored pens and washi tape and stickers, but my bullet journal is unlikely to be a work of art either.

IMG_9795I took this an excuse to finally buy the Micron pens I’ve been lusting over for the
past fifteen
years or so, but I think I’m going to have to stop using them.  Unfortunately, the Peter Pauper Press Essentials notebook that I bought doesn’t have heavy enough paper to be compatible with that kind of ink.  I’ve got a lot of ghosting and a little bit of bleed through.  The bleeding mostly seems to be from the super fine point Microperm that I got to do small lettering / writing.  I’m going to revert to gel pens (I like the Pilot G2 for an every day pen, and it comes in plenty of colors).  I really want a notebook with higher quality paper, though.  In high school and college, I was known for using notebooks with heavy paper.  How or why people knew this I don’t remember, but I know I was picky about what notebooks I bought because I used liquid ink pens (Pilot V5).  When the liquid ink pens started exploding in my backpack (this happens when you leave your bag in your car in the desert), I switched to gel pens.  Luckily, the G2s had
come out by then, ‘cuz the early gel pens were terrible.   Anyway, I may try some of the other brands that are popular among bullet journallers – Leuchtturm or Rhodia.  I will be good and not buy more notebooks until I finish the one I have…or need to break for the new year.   I am also thinking about breaking out the bookbinding supplies and just making my own.  I could use whatever weight paper I like, whatever brightness, and just get the dot grid printed on.  It could be fun.

IMG_4717Whether my bullet journal proves to make me more organized or more productive remains to be seen, of course.  So far, I’m getting the most use out of the habit tracker.  I expected that; it was really the feature that decided me on starting the journal at all.  I wanted a way to encourage myself to make sone of my good habits more…habitual. Accountability, even if just in the form of a tracker kept in pretty colors, does help.  Being able to see the pattern of my behaviors, again in a pretty and visual format, should also help.   Hopefully, I’ll be able to move things like flossing my teeth from something done a few times a week to something done daily or near daily.  When that happens, I might even take a particular habit off the tracker and find some new behavior to improve.   Secretly, I’m hoping to influence some of the habits of the rest of the household (not so secretly, now).  It’s one little way that I feel like I can contribute to the house that’s nice enough to let me live here.



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